By Jeremy Sims (auth.)
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Extra resources for English coursework: The Short Story
Children too had suffered, and we see in the gang the results of childhood deprivation; this is a generation whose development has been distorted by the war. Normal creative feelings struggle to find expression - so that T, who has both an appreciation of beauty and a creative desire, perhaps inherited from his father, can only direct it to a negative, destructive end. T's experiences have undermined him; he is deeply disturbed (he has 'eyes as grey and disturbed as the drab August day'). Much that is positive goes into the destruction, as Blackie notices: 'He had at once the impression of organization, very different from the old happy-go-lucky ways'; they are described as working 'with the seriousness of creators - and destruction after all is a kind of creation'.
In the stories discussed here, it is difficult always to know where our sympathies lie - society sometimes reaches hasty judgements about people just as individuals feel let down by such judgements at times. Victims Both Ernest Brown in 'Uncle Ernest'S and John Elsen in 'The Road'2 feel out of place in the worlds in which they find themselves. Ernest Brown has been broken by his experiences in the First World War, to which his thoughts constantly return. He feels guilt at his own survival where so many of his contemporaries were killed.
Atmosphere through dialogue Facing up to the past The opening of Hemingway's 'The Killers,g is striking. Essentially through dialogue a sense of menace is established. Al and Max seem almost deliberately to misunderstand what they are told and take offence aggressively. "'. The peaceful conversation between Nick and George in a small diner, in a quiet American town, is disturbed by this suddenly threatening intrusion. Hemingway's terse and exact style creates a sharply focused scene. We may be alerted to the status of AI and Max by the 'derby hat and black overcoat buttoned across the chest ...